Tips for Parents

Understanding Hip Dysplasia

Infant & Child - Tips for Parents

In these sections you will find the best information that the IHDI is able to provide as far as everyday tips, and what you can do to stay positive and proactive in your child’s treatment(s) for hip dysplasia.

Much of this information comes from online parent groups whose members help each other through their experiences with hip dysplasia. They are a constant source of tips, examples from private experiences, or a source of people who “just get it” because they’ve gone through dealing with hip dysplasia with their own children.

What should you do when your child is diagnosed with hip dysplasia?

  • Make sure the diagnosis is correct:
    • You may be referred to because the pediatrician found a hip click or something else during an exam. This does not immediately mean that your child has developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH).
    • Don’t delay getting a second opinion, but this is not an emergency so a couple of weeks won’t make a big difference.
    • An ultrasound study is usually reliable for diagnosis between six weeks and six months of age.
    • An x-ray is usually recommended after approximately six months of age. Modern x-rays are safe for infants. These can usually be performed in the orthopedic surgeon’s office at the time of your visit.
  • Learning more about hip dysplasia can make going through treatment less confusing and help calm fears.
  • Talk to other parents who have children being treated, or who were treated themselves for hip dysplasia.

Tips for dealing with the treatment(s) of hip dysplasia

Tips for you, the parent(s)

There are things to be thankful for:

  • Hip dysplasia can be successfully treated in most cases. Good results should allow your child to participate in active play and in sports as he or she gets older.
  • Hip dysplasia (DDH) isn’t usually painful for babies and young children even when the hip is unstable or dislocated.
  • It’s likely that your child’s hip dysplasia has been discovered in time to do something about it.
  • Hip dysplasia is a pretty common condition with various degrees of involvement so most doctors are familiar with the problem.
  • Hip dysplasia is usually an isolated problem so there’s not much worry that something else might be wrong with your child.

Want to get involved by providing a tip that you think would help others dealing with hip dysplasia? Check out our Other Resources for Parents for a list of parent groups you can join to connect personally with others, or find our more about how you can personally get involved.